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Cat INV1250 Spec Review

The Cat INV1250 is a quiet, compact and lightweight inverter generator with a rated wattage of 1000 W and a starting wattage of 1250 W.

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Cat INV1250Cat INV1250Cat INV1250

Get this unit while stocks last, because Caterpillar discontinued its production.

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Description

Take your outdoor adventures to the next level with the Cat® INV1250 portable inverter generator. Inverter technology provides a high-quality power that's safe for your sensitive electronics. Cat® CO DEFENSE™Carbon Monoxide Sensing & Shutdown technology keeps you, your family, and friends safe. (source: Cat (opens in a new tab))

Zoom on the Cat INV1250

In a nutshell, the Cat INV1250 is a quiet, compact and lightweight portable inverter generator mostly geared towards:

  • Tailgating and campground aficionados with the desire of enjoying power anywhere they go
  • Amateur DIY lovers

In the following paragraphs, we shall explore the power characteristics, available outlets, portability, and any additional features of the device, along with its emission compliance information.

Power & Run Time

The Cat INV1250 in use

The Cat INV1250

The Cat INV1250 is powered by a 60 cc OHV 4-stroke engine. It delivers 120V, runs on gasoline and offers a running wattage of 1000W as well as a peak wattage of 1250W. Moreover, since it is parallel capable (parallel kit not included), its power may be doubled if linked to a second compatible unit.

At a noise rating of 52 dBA (just slightly more noisy than a quiet suburb), the inverter generator is started via a conventional pull-start mechanism.

The fuel capacity of 0.8 gallon allows the INV1250 to operate for around 7.9 hours at 50% load with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.1 GPH).

The INV1250 generates a clean sine wave: providing <3% Total Harmonic Disruption (THD), delicate electronics can be plugged in its AC outlet safely.

Outlets

The control panel features the following AC outlet:

120V 20A (5-20R) receptacle

Additionally, it features 2 DC outlets: there's two 5V USB ports allowing you to conveniently charge electronics such as mobile phones and tablets.

Portability

The Cat INV1250 is an inverter generator and has an encased design of the following dimensions: L18.3 x W11.5 x H16.6 in. Thus, it is more aesthetical than conventional, open frame products. This modern design aims to provide an ideal power solution to recreational users.

The INV1250 is a lightweight, portable generator, as it only weighs 33.1 lbs. A single person should not have any problems moving it around and thus, enjoy power availability on-the-go. It can also be carried without effort with a featured handle (molded in the case), further improving its convenience.

Features

Panel of the Cat INV1250

The INV1250's control panel

The light indicators show you if the generator is ready, the generator is overloaded and its oil levels are insufficient.

A built-in fuel gauge allows for a quick, easy and convenient check of the fuel level of the inverter generator.

As far as security is concerned, the generator can be used with a peace of mind, as it features an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off.

The INV1250 also benefits from CAT’s CO DEFENSE™ carbon monoxide shutdown. This system monitors the accumulation of CO gas while the generator is running and will shut off the engine if the levels become dangerously high. It’s a welcomed additional security feature, but don’t forget to always take your generator outside (opens in a new tab).

Along the basic documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), useful for starting the generator right away, the Cat INV1250's package also includes these accessories: oil, funnel and tool kit.

Emissions

The Cat INV1250 is EPA-approved and CARB-compliant. Thus, selling and purchasing this generator is allowed in each of the 50 states, including California.

Moreover, it features a spark arrestor and thus, may be used in forested areas.

The Cat INV1250 versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Cat INV1250 compare to generators of similar power (between 1000 and 2000 W).

  • In terms of its dry weight, the Cat INV1250 stands at only 33.1 lbs, meaning that is one of the lighter devices of the 1000-2000 rated wattage category In terms of weight, one of the champions in their power range is the ECHO EGi-1200, standing at just 30 lbs.
  • With a lowest noise rating of 52 dBA, the inverter generator is one of the more quiet of the generators of similar power. If you’d prefer a less noisy device, one of the most quiet devices, which share the same power range with this one, is the Honda EU2200i, whose lowest noise levels reach just 48 dBA.
  • The INV1250, falls within the average autonomy range compared to generators of a roughly same power, with a run time of around 7.9 hours at a 50% load and a full tank. Concerning the run times, one of the several devices with a comparable output, offering the highest autonomy, is the Westinghouse WGen2000, which is able to run for around 20 hours.
  • Autonomy holds its importance, however, it is largely dependent on the generator’s fuel capacity and so, it is nonsensible to discuss it without mentioning fuel efficiency as well. At an estimated fuel consumption of 0.1 GPH (gallon per hour) at 50% load, this inverter generator is one of the most fuel efficient units within its wattage category.

Price comparison

As you can see from this interactive chart, when compared to other 1000-2000W generators, the Cat INV1250 is on the average side of the price range.

Therefore, this generator nicely fits in the expected budget for this kind of product.

The bottom line

STRENGTHS:
  • In the expected price range
  • CO DEFENSE™ technology
  • Several accessories included
  • Parallel capable
  • Inverter
  • Lightweight (33.1 lbs)
  • Quiet for its power (52 dBA)
  • Fuel efficient
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Decent run time
WEAKNESSES:
  • No data center
  • Only 1 AC outlet
  • No electric start

Do you own the Cat INV1250 and agree (or disagree) with these strengths and weaknesses?

Let us know and write your own review.

Features and Specifications

General
InverterYes
PortableYes
Parallel capableYes, cable not included
RV readyNo
FuelGasoline
Engine60 cc OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil
Power
VoltageAC: 120V 60 Hz, DC: 5V
Running watts1000 W
Starting watts1250 W
Running amps8.3 amps
Peak amps10.4 amps
Run time @50% load7.9 h
Run time @25% loadUnknown
Features
GFCI outletsNo
Covered outletsNo
Automatic Voltage RegulationInverter
AC outlets1x 120V 20A (5-20R)
DC outlets2x 5V USB port
Data centerNo
IndicatorsLow oil, overload and output ready
Fuel tankPlastic, 0.8 gal
Fuel gaugeYes
Misc
Weight33.1 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)18.3 x 11.5 x 16.6 in
Noise (lower limit)52 dBA
THD< 3%
EmissionsCARB, EPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection, CO monitoring
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralBonded to frame
Accessories includedOil, funnel, and tool kit
Warranty3 years
Other model numbers501-5453

Unlike many websites, we did our best to research each of the specs above. That being said, we are not immune to making the occasional mistake or omission. Should you notice any missing or incorrect values, don't hesitate to suggest improvements so we can address the issue.

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About Cat

Caterpillar Inc., often abbreviated as simply CAT, is an American engineering corporation, whose product range includes machinery, engines, financial products, mobile phones and of course, power generators. The company, founded in 1925, is one of the backbones of the US Dow Jones index and is placed among the Fortune 500 list. While CAT mainly focuses on industrial scale generators, it also provides a wide range of portable and household-scaled devices. CAT portable generators are engineered and designed in Mossville, Illinois, and Belfast, Northern Ireland. However, their production is outsourced to China.

Warranty Information

The Cat INV1250 is covered under a warranty for up to 3 years. This warranty may be limited and may not cover all parts of the generator.
For more information about the warranty of Cat generators, please consult Cat's warranty policies (opens in a new tab). Alternatively, you can also contact their Customer Support: 1-844-PWR-ME-UP (844-797-6387).

Questions & Answers

What can it power?
Examples of items that can be simultaneously powered.
The examples below are based on a maximum load of 80% and estimated wattages. For a more accurate estimation, use our wattage calculator.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeRefrigerator (energy star)1921192
Set of 5 LED light bulbs5555
Total247 W1247 W
For campingRV refrigerator180600
Coffee maker600600
Total780 W1200 W
For workReciprocating saw730960
Total730 W960 W

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